Cuba 2015, 03

6 Mar

Cuba 2015, 03  02 disappeared, so will follow … Maybe!

We get to sleep in a little bit, meet for breakfast, make trips to the bank to change Euros, Canadian Dollars, or USD – US dollars. We climb aboard our bus with Thomas at the wheel and head a little across town for a dance presentation by Irene Rodriguez. It was far too short for our taste based on the last times we had seen her, but our group enjoyed the blend of ballet – Irene is Cuba’s prima ballerina – and flamenco. A few years ago, Irene took the top award for flamenco in Andalucia where her grandparents lived and birthplace of that dance form.

Next, we spend time in the largest cemetery in the world, about five square miles. There are always interesting things to photograph and stories to learn about this or that familia or monument. Laid out in a grid, there are two main avenues forming a cross and intersecting at the cathedral where the funerals take place

It was hot, and we look forward to lunch in a cool restaurant. We return to one Arnie and I know on a roof-top terrace, three stories above the town with an excellent view of one of the old forts across the harbor. We enjoy the food and cool breezes under the pergola and talk about photography and our observations on how happy the Cuban people generally are.

It is time to head out onto the streets again, and we walk back toward the Malecon. Others break off to do their own exploring, but we all agree to meet back at the hotel to see some of the work of our three Cuban friends, all amazing photographers by any standards, then have our first critique session.

Participants learn a lot from these sessions, and it interesting to get the perspective and input from our three local friends.

It is time for dinner, and we break up and head off in different groups to eat. In fact, most of us just head downstairs and eat in the hotel where the food is very tasty.

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Cuba 2015, 01

2 Mar

Continue reading 

Venice 2015, 02

13 Feb

Day Two of our workshop saw an early start, perhaps not compared to our state-side workshops, but early for our European ones. The reason? Fish market.

We gathered in the hotel lobby to head out the door at 6:40 to head over to the market to catch the fishmongers and other merchants setting up.

It was a new experience for some of our participants.

“What setting should I use?”

“What effect do you want?” we reply.

Some of our participants are very comfortable with their camera settings, but Arnie and I are also here to help those newer to photography and the digital world.

The irony of digital photography is that the lighter, more compact cameras are often, for us, much more difficult to set up and use.

Buttons serve several functions, where with our cameras, we can access menu items with a quick touch of a button on the camera, not in the menu. That said, the smaller cameras are much more affordable and definitely much lighter. There are no right answers here. Cameras are like so many other things in life. One size does not fits all.

We encouraged our group to just stand and observe, watch for patterns, then anticipate the next time they might happen.

In a lull with our participants, I saw this scene outside the fish market. Cubism is what came instantly to mind. And as we continually tell our groups, just because we go to xyz location does not mean one has to shoot that xyz.© 2015 Margo Taussig Pinkerton.  All Rights Reserved.  From Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures.  For usage and fees, please e-mail TBC (at) BCphotoadventures (dot) com or contact us at 310 Lafayette Drive, Hillsborough, NC  27278 or at 919-643-3036 before 9 p.m. east-coast time, GMT-5.

Our first critique session is always a longer one. People get into the spirit of critiques, and it takes time to be thoughtful. The next time, it will go faster.

We headed back to San Marco for more of the fabulous costumes.

Our people had scattered, and I found myself alone and listening to a band that quickly morphed into a steel band. I did the meringue while shooting, and when I found one of our participants, encouraged her to get in closer.

When the band started to move, we walked backwards, photographing as they came towards us. I must say, that even then, I did a backwards meringue!

It was great fun, and they eventually went down a Continue reading